i can assure you that the list for the escort is significantly shorter than the one(s) for dodge.
two of my friends had to replace their engines to their intrepids (one a '95, and the other a '00 [both under 70k]), my friend who had to replace his water pumps, timing belts and radiator at the same time in his avenger. and my brother in law was going to have to swap his engine on his '98 stratus, but traded it in before he had to deal with it.
the only time i hear of anything major going wrong with the escort, (aside from oil changes and rust) is when someone has to total it because they sent their car into oncoming traffic at high speeds or something. the escort is a solid decision.
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